We are in the period of Lent. What does it mean to you?
It is my prayer that as we enter this period heading towards Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we will be reminded of the reality of our broken humanity, which Jesus came to mend. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are the realities of God’s redeeming grace. And Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection.
But we shouldn’t just “remember” His death and resurrection. Our vocation is a call to “follow and to be.” Follow Jesus, be “fishers of men.” This, if I may posit, is a vocation we should attend to all the time.
How can we do this? Jesus himself gives us the answer. Be a “witness.”
The Apostle John speaks of this in 1 John 1:1-3, when he says, “That … which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, … and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life … we testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life … so that you too may have fellowship with us…”
Today, we who have experienced new life in Christ are to give an account of His love and forgiveness, both verbally and in the way we live our lives. This is witnessing. To be effective in our witness, a few practical do’s and don’ts ought to be kept in mind.
First, Jesus didn’t call us to be a critic. We were not called to be a sharp-eyed nit-picker of everyone else’s behaviour, nor were we called to be a nag with a judgmental attitude. These and other virtues are made abundantly clear from Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere.
Second, we need to maintain a firm but gentle position of not compromising with things that everyone knows to be wrong. This could be coupled with a sensitive, non-condescending, non-intrusive manner of “serving one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).
All that should be combined with inward attitudes of constant prayer for whatever kind of activity we are engaged in and genuine love for everyone involved.
Whether it’s Lent or Christmas that’s the way we can constantly witness for Jesus. It is our devotion to God.
Pastor Robert Chew